Jennifer Rubell: Well I think what makes a great professional chef is somebody . . . Well scratch that. I think what makes a great professional chef or home cook is somebody with a terrific palate first of all. Somebody who loves to eat; and has a really good sense of flavor; and has tasted a lot of different things in the world; thinks about food and really applies that to their cooking; and has some kind of . . . some kind of philosophy that they bring to the world of food. Now that’s what makes a great cook or a great chef.
To be a very, very good home cook, you don’t need all that. You just need to be able to cook a few dishes well. But somebody who is really pushing . . . pushing the public’s sense of taste, or flavor, or the definition of cooking is going to be somebody who has a real perspective. And they’ve arrived at that perspective through a lot of tasting, and they are then pushing it to something new. It’s what makes a great artist in any medium.
Recorded on 12/13/07